The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point offers several fine arts majors to accommodate talented students on campus.
Such talent can be found at the Noel Fine Arts Center’s “What’s the Point?” show, held in room 136 every Sunday from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.
“‘What’s the Point?’ is a weekly open-floor live performance,” said “What’s the Point?” founder Shane Donohue. “You come in, put your name in a hat and from there we set a performance order. There are only three rules to participating: the idea must be original, a complete thought and must be under seven minutes of content.”
As long as students adhere to these guidelines, Donohue said creativity is open and endless to them.
“I’ve seen improv dance scores, poetry readings, acting scenes, voice with piano accompaniment, drag, electronic music composition and more,” said musical theatre major Haley Haupt.
The show offers students a way to perform original pieces and get feedback from the audience without being ridiculed.
Student’s pieces do not have to be complete in order to be performed. Donohue said this allows students to enhance and expand their work.
“I like the idea that you can release your fears in this space and lay it all out on the floor, and know that the audience is going to accept you,” Donohue said. “The show is about the perfection of imperfection and that performance does not have to be perfect.”
This aspect of “What’s the Point?” is notable in student’s improvisation performances. As these performances are unplanned, there is ongoing excitement about what is coming next.
“I do not have a vast amount of improv experience, so I think it’s great to have ‘What’s the Point?,’” said theatre major Rachel Flahive. “It gives us a great opportunity every week to exercise our improv muscles. You learn something new about yourself each time.”
Participants and audience members appreciate the nonjudgmental atmosphere.
“These events, are important for students because they crave and need that safe place to display their works in progress,” Haupt said. “It’s also very good practice, not only as an artist, but as a human to get up in front of a group and share something personal about yourself.”
“I think it’s insanely important to have events like ‘What’s the Point?’ available at UWSP,” Flahive said. “These kinds of events are a great outlet to unleash your creativity in a safe, judgment free environment. It’s always a good time, whether you’re participating or simply a spectator because there is so much to learn from each and every single person who goes up there.”
“It exposes you to things that may be foreign to you and encourages self-exploration. I’ve never left ‘What’s the Point?’ without feeling as though I’ve learned something new. I’m inspired each and every time I go,” Flahive said.